Sunday, December 4, 2011

Intentional Family Traditions - Simple Things

Sometimes starting family traditions can seem overwhelming because we think they need to be huge extravagant things that become a lot of work! But children love the most simple of things. Saturday night my husband and I hosted a little cocktail party with some friends and at one point we all started to share what the best gift was that we ever received. Without giving it much thought, most of us immediately thought of something we were given that was not a material thing. Here we were, this group of parents currently brainstorming what to buy our children for Christmas, and we laughed – the things we loved most and remember today are the things we received that didn’t cost anything! Like gifts, traditions don’t need to be expensive or elaborate. Even the most simple ones are special and magical!

My parents were married at the end of October and as a newly married couple, when Christmas came, they didn’t have many decorations, nor did they have much money to buy some. My father made a star out of cardboard and covered it with tin foil and that was their topper on their tree. It’s been 45 years and they still have that same star on top of their Christmas tree. As children, we rotated who got to put the star on top of the tree each year and it was always a big honor when it was my year! I just loved getting to put the star on the tree. 7 years ago when my husband and I were married, for our first Christmas, my father made us a cardboard star covered with tin foil, that now my children rotate putting on top of our tree. This year Macky had his first turn at putting the star up. It’s a simple tradition that is loved by all.

Here are some other very simple, inexpensive traditions
• Watch a Christmas movie together as a family and pop some popcorn (every year my family watched The Sound of Music on Christmas Eve!)

• Surprise the children one night and after dinner load them up in the car to drive around and see all the lights

• Get everyone a new pair of pajamas to be worn on Christmas Eve

• Elf On A Shelf – this has become a very fun tradition in our home. Never heard of Elf On A Shelf? Click here. Check out my pintrist board with fun Elf ideas

• Lay on the ground with the children right next to the Christmas tree and look up at the lights together.

• Do a family photo booth and have some good laughs taking crazy photos! Here’s where we got our props.

• Advent Calendars – as children we taped ours to a window so that when we opened the little windows each day, the sun shined through the little pictures! There are many fun advent calendar ideas floating around and it’s not too late! Just let the children open up 5 on the first day to catch up!!!

• Buy a new ornament for your children every year and when they move out one day (tear), give them all their ornaments to decorate their own tree

CHALLENGE: Are you getting a little overwhelmed with the holidays already? Take some time this week to sit down and do something very simple, yet meaningful with your family and give them a gift that they’ll never forget – your time!

FLASH BACK QUESTION: What traditions of giving are you doing this year?

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions? Next week I’m going to do a week long linky party where you can link up your posts on Christmas traditions! Let’s swap some great ideas starting Monday!

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